Wow, he actually did it! I know, I know. I acted like it would be a walk in the park but when a feat of this magnitude is achieved in sport it is still kind of overwhelming. No one has held all four slams at the same time since 1969!!
Congrats Nole! A truly astonishing achievement that comes only two days after the passing of boxing legend and GOAT Muhammad Ali. Just maybe the tennis GOAT was born today because Djokovic has a real shot at becoming the undisputed tennis GOAT now.
With his first French Open title today, Djokovic not only completes the career slam at long last but he also completes something more impressive namely the Djoker slam, meaning he holds all four slam titles at the same time.
That is something not even the great Federer or Nadal could achieve. And Djokovic is far from done. He is peaking at 29 years old and playing the best tennis of his life. He also just officially entered the GOAT discussion.
Even though he is currently on 12 slam titles, 5 back of Federer and 2 back of Nadal, winning four slams in a row is a very special achievement right up there with the calendar slam and he also has winning records over Federer(23-22) and Nadal(26-23) now.
Djokovic now has all the accomplishments needed to qualify as an all-time great. He already had the weeks at #1, the World Tour Finals titles, the Masters titles record, and the slam titles. He just needed that elusive French Open title to complete the career slam.
And now he’s got it! But again, it is not just the career slam. Even more impressive than the career slam is the personal slam of holding all four slams at the same time. Incredible! So Djokovic just achieved a double whammy which propelled him right into the GOAT debate.
He doesn’t have the heavy dependence of Nadal on one surface or the poor head-to-head record of Federer against his main rival. There is no weakness in the resume. He is right up there with Federer and Nadal but, of course, he is far from done.
- Final Review
Now let me do the match summary. Djokovic broke to love in the opening game and it looked like it would be a short afternoon. But then things went badly wrong for him as he dropped the opening set 3-6.
Did the French Open curse strike again? Djokovic was clearly nervous and out of sorts. But understandably so since he has lost in three French Open finals and four semi-finals, including that devastating 2013 loss to Nadal.
But Djokovic soon locked into his semi-final form and it was all over for Murray as he ran out a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 winner. Right at the end the nerves crept in again for Djokovic when he served for the match at 5-2.
He dropped serve and at 5-4 and 40-15 he served a double fault and then it went back to deuce. That was a nervous moment for Djokovic but he pulled through for an unprecedented victory.
If it wasn’t for Djokovic’s history at this event and the emotional burden of having to complete the career slam at long last you better believe the first set would never have happened. From the second set onward Djokovic played on the same level as the semi-finals and Murray couldn’t touch him.
Under different circumstances, Djokovic would have won this 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 but the win is all that matters. And by saying this I also just want to make it clear that Thiem has nothing to be ashamed of at all for what happened in the semis.
The same thing would have happened to Murray if it wasn’t for the enormity of the occasion. There are two more things which I also have to mention which helped Djokovic to overcome the enormity of the occasion.
And that is the crowd support and the fact that Murray spent five hours more than him on the court in the run-up to the final. You don’t win slams by playing ten sets in your first two rounds. I already said Murray is not winning the tournament when that happened.
And then even though crowd support is not everything it does help a lot. I don’t like Murray’s on-court demeanor and neither does many other people including the French crowd. It is disgusting, to be honest.
Djokovic, on the other hand, went through the trouble of learning French which is something the French appreciate. I would know. I spent a lot of time playing tennis there. And, of course, Djokovic did his dues last year.
That is where a kind of turning point happened with the crowd and it was great to see them support him so strongly this year. The French crowd is very emotional and they can be very irritating when they are against you.
But they are also very passionate and knowledgeable about the sport and they are not heartless. They were never a fan of Djokovic but they didn’t just cast him out. They saw how badly he wanted to win the title and that he was making an honest effort to reach out to them.
Over the years, I have criticized the French crowd a lot but I am not casting them out either. They are just very passionate about the sport and find it hard to control their emotions. That’s the French for you. They are emotional people.
- Final Thoughts
So, as usual, I’m not signing off before I add my final thoughts. There is always a lot to be said after such a monumental achievement and I will not be able to fit it all into this post.
First, let me just say thank you to everyone who has been reading my posts and who joined the discussion. Second, I am very grateful to be part of this occasion as a tennis fan and as a Djokovic fan.
Some Fedfans think I started supporting Djokovic only because he was winning but I did the same thing when I got bored of Sampras’ dominance and switched to the underdog Agassi who kept suffering bitter losses to Sampras in slam finals.
But enough of that. Those people will believe whatever suits their agenda anyway. I can assure you that as a tennis and Djokovic fan I am fully appreciating not only this moment but all of Djokovic’s dominance.
It is a true privilege and like I said before this is the best time to be a tennis fan. I have been a tennis fan since Becker won his first Wimbledon and it is just keeps getting better. Today was the best thing that happened yet.
I feel like I can die happy now as a tennis fan. The lack of a French Open title was a real weakness in Djokovic’s resume and he would never truly enter the GOAT debate until he put that demon to bed.
It would be a terrible shame with all his dominance and bad luck in Paris that he would not have won the title. He could still have done it in the future but you felt like this was really the time to finally get it done and since the Djoker slam was up for grabs it was essential.
If he wanted a shot at catching Federer it was essential too. All of a sudden a huge burden is lifted off his shoulders and he can play with less pressure. He finally got the French Open monkey off his back.
Now he can make a serious run at Federer’s slam record starting at Wimbledon. Let’s not forget that if he wins Wimbledon he will have done something completely unprecedented in the open era by winning five consecutive slams.
Not even the great Rod Laver did that. That would be more impressive than the calendar slam even. As for the difference between the calendar slam and a personal slam, there is very little difference if any.
Djokovic’s achievement is arguably better than Laver’s because it was achieved on four different surfaces while three of the four slam were played on grass in 1969. At the very least you can say Djokovic did his personal slam on three different surfaces.
But the hard court surface in Melbourne is slow Plexicushion while the US Open is played on faster Decoturf. So technically Djokovic completed his personal slam on four different surfaces while Laver did it on two different surfaces, namely clay and grass.
To me that is clearly a more impressive achievement, and that in an era of players like Federer, Nadal, Murray, and Wawrinka. But I don’t want to get into too many comparisons. This is impressive enough as it is without making any comparisons.
- How Important Will Wimbledon Be In The GOAT Debate?
Just before I finish this post I quickly want to look ahead to Wimbledon because that could be another big moment in the GOAT debate. Wimbledon is only three weeks away now. This is the best time of the year to be a tennis fan!
Djokovic won’t play any tour events. He will only play that warmup event in Boodles like he usually does which is perfect. Even though the clay court season wouldn’t have taken much out of him it is important that he gets some rest now.
He won the French Open while dropping only two sets which means he will still be fresh for the grass court season. We also know that the grass court season will be big for Federer. You would think this is his very last shot at winning a slam title.
And it looks like an outside chance at that. Since he had to withdraw from the French Open he could focus all his attention on the upcoming grass court season and I see he is already playing in Stuttgart this coming week.
If he wants to stop Djokovic from chasing him down he has to win Wimbledon this year. It is a must the way I see it. First, he has to stop Djokovic from winning five slams in a row which would already be an astonishing achievement for Djokovic.
Isn’t it about time I acknowledge the invaluable role of this gorgeous lady in Nole’s success? Congrats Jelena!!
Second, he needs to put some more distance between himself and Djokovic in slam count. And third, if he does not stop Djokovic then Djokovic will be on his way to completing the calendar slam.
If Djokovic completes the calendar slam this year you can write him in as the GOAT. There will be no stopping him. That is if he wouldn’t already be the GOAT. So if Federer ever wanted to protect his own legacy this is it.
That said, Djokovic will be awfully hard to stop. He just seems to get better and more dominant as time passes. A total juggernaut. I don’t think the first half of the year has taken an awfully taxing toll on him either.
He is becoming more comfortable on grass every year and last year he already had Federer more under control than in the 2014 final. Whatever the case may be, it is a great privilege to be a tennis fan these days and I absolutely can’t wait for the grass court season to begin!
Congrats to Nole and his fans on the Djoker slam!!
- Match Stats